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Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

Delia residents connect with MLA

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    Delia residents will have a chance to ask Minister of Agriculture MLA Jack Hayden some questions live via video conference on Wednesday, June 2.
    Recently the Delia Library was outfitted with video conferencing equipment, and they invited Hayden for a short chat to demonstrate the equipment.
    “We’ve had it (video conferencing equipment) for less than a year,” said Delia Library board chair Barb Marshall. “It offers people in rural communities such as ours the opportunity to possibly meet, be it doctors or business meetings, and it can all be set up as a free service in the library.”
    She explains the equipment was made possible through the Rural Information Service InitiativE (RISE). This was created by a partnership of three library regions in Southern Alberta. The Chinook Arch, Marigold and Shortgrass Regions prepared a proposal to access funding for a video conferencing network.
    It is a $5 million project and 75 per cent of the funding came from the Rural Alberta Development Fund. This has paved the way for about 80 libraries in these regions to be outfitted with the equipment.
    Marshall said one of the capabilities is to join educational and entertaining programs in other institutions via the video link.
    “For example a couple weeks ago we took part in Puppets in Pajamas. It was a children’s author that did a little talk, and the children came to the library in their pajamas and enjoyed a live feed in another location,” said Marshall.
    They have also taken part in an author video visit from Mary-Ann Kirkby, author of I am Hutterite, and a couple gardening talks. She says there are many programs; it is just a matter of who is interested in which ones to connect to.
    The library wants to create more awareness of the service and that is one of the reasons they planned to connect with their MLA.
    “We just wanted to promote our service, so we thought  we could hook up with Jack Hayden in Edmonton,” said Marshall. “We talked to him and asked if he could give up a few minute of his time and he said ‘sure.’”
    After working to coordinate a time, they agreed on June 2 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Marshall admits it may be a short talk, as he is busy.
    ‘It is just a chance to meet with him and say hi,” she said, adding they have been collecting questions for the Minister of Agriculture upon his video visit.

New RCMP members on way to Drumheller

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    Drumheller’s RCMP will be undergoing a changing of the guard this summer, as on schedule, three members will be leaving the valley and possibly three more moving in.
    Members Kirk Smith, Mark Logan, and Chris Nelson, with a total of 13 years experience collectively, will be replaced in the coming months in accordance to normal RCMP protocol, says Drumheller RCMP Staff Sergeant Arthur Hopkins.
    A member out of Manitoba with three years experience will replace Nelson, the second incoming member is a cadet, who’s been in town for four months.
    The third member has yet to be identified.
    Although they could bring experience, S.Sgt. Hopkins speculates there will be a  new cadet with no experience outside of training.
    Despite possibly losing 10 years experience in his leaving staff, Hopkins says the routine process happens across the prairies.
    “(Switching posts often) gives you a different experience as an officer,” explains Hopkins.
 “It makes them more well rounded as to how to handle different situations.”
    Drumheller would be classified as a municipal policing jurisdiction, with police action focused on things such as bar problems, stores and business related crime like theft.
    In a rural area like Beiseker, police work is more agriculturally based. Thefts of grain, cattle, break and enter to farmhouses, movement of drugs through the area are examples of what rural officers may encounter.
    The urban and rural jurisdictions call for totally different skills and processes, and when police are exposed to these it allows them to improve their abilities and become more rounded.
    “They learn how to talk to different people, to handle different situations,” Hopkins says.

Plans in works to host 2011 FireFit competition

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    There is a strong possibility that the fittest of the fit in firefighting will be in the valley next spring to take part in the Scott’s FireFit Championships.
     Last week Drumheller firefighter Duane Bolin made a presentation to the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce.  Bolin along with firefighter Merv Smith have been working on bringing the event to the valley.
    The goal of the presentation was to gauge support, and hopefully earn buy-in from the chamber on bringing a FireFit competition the valley.
    FireFit is an obstacle course that pits firefighters through a gruelling course testing their strength, stamina and skill. Just completing the course is a feat for many. Bolin and Smith have both participated in FireFit Challenges in the past.
    “We’ve been working with FireFit since last year and told them we want it,” said Bolin. “In southern Alberta they usually get about 100 individual competitors and anywhere from 120-140 for the team event.”
    This event is known nationally and worldwide. They often broadcast the nationals and the larger regional events on TSN and OLN.
    “It could mean some great exposure for the town,’” said Bolin, adding economically it could also be a boost.
    “They (FireFit) like the smaller communities because then it is an event. When it is in a bigger centre, it could be just in a parking lot, and just another thing going on,” said Bolin. “I’ve been in Moose Jaw and Brooks and it is part of the big event in the town.”
    If the interest is there, they hope to build the event over three days. The FireFit individual competition would typically be on Saturday, while the team event would be on Sunday. On the Friday, they are looking at hosting a corporate challenge where teams of community members could participate. This would be a fundraiser for the Badlands Community Facility.
    They are also looking at a TOPCOP event. This is a relatively new addition. Like testing a firefighter’s skills, the TOPCOP competition puts peace officers to the test. He says there is good interest from some correctional officers at the Drumheller Institution that may possibly take part in the competition.
    “It’s kind of at the demonstration stage,” said Bolin.
    The TOPCOP competition is open to anyone employed by a law enforcement agency or similar agency such as park wardens. It uses the same course as the FireFit Challenge but the obstacle is adapted to reflect the challenges of an officer in the line of duty.
    He said the Chamber of Commerce was receptive to the idea, but there is a lot of groundwork to complete before they would be able to host the event.
    So far, the tentative dates they are looking at are June 10-11 or June 17-19, 2011
    “It is a pretty small window when FireFit comes across Alberta,” said Bolin. “They are only in Alberta for about three or four weeks.”
    Before the event they also want to make sure they have strong community support, and Bolin is hoping to address Drumheller Town Council in the near future.
    There is also the matter of selecting a site. Organizers have some ideas on where to host the event. The minimum space needed is 100’ X 200’ with a 60 amp power supply, telephone lines and hydrant access. There is also a need for space for spectators and security.
    They are hoping to have a host sponsor in place.
    While the event, if it comes to Drumheller, is quite some time from now, Bolin and a crew of Drumheller firefighters will be competing. Bolin has been in about 12 events over the last decade. Bolin, Smith, Jordan Harper and Travis Hardy will be competing in Medicine Hat for the Canadian Badlands Regional-Southern Alberta competition on June 12 and 13, and possibly in Edmonton later in the month. In all there are about eight firefighters who are currently training.
    “The new guys all want to do one because they want to compete when it is in Drumheller, so when it is here there should be eight or 10 guys. We are hoping to draw some of the regional departments that have never done one before,” said Bolin.
    For more information, contact Bolin 403-823-2559. Also go to www.firefit.com to learn more about the events.

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